For almost a decade, McCann Systems has been working with the Fire Department of New York to bring the latest and most reliable technologies to their command and control centers. This month’s issue of AV Technology Magazine bridges the gap between AV and IT in these mission critical environments, featuring our latest work with the FDNY.
The remarkable story of technology & strategy at the New York City Fire Department Operations Center
By Cindy Davis
Residents and stewards of New York City are proud, and in particular, of their fire department. With approximately 15,000 employees, covering 322 square miles comprising five boroughs, the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) is the largest in the United States, and serves 8.4 million residents, swelling to nearly 10 million with the addition of commuters into Manhattan.
“At different times either we are the biggest in the world, or the Tokyo Fire Department is, and we argue about which one is,” said New York City Fire Department Operations Center (FDOC), director, Timothy Herlocker. In December 2014, fire and EMS emergency responses were expected to exceed 1.6 million by year-end.
The tragic and profound events of September 11, 2001, set in motion an operational sea change at the FDNY. Herlocker explained, “We really didn’t have any type of emergency operations center. The culture of the fire department is that we always led from the front, so our most senior chiefs, and the most senior executives in the department went to the site.” Among the 343 firefighters and paramedics killed that day was FDNY, Chief of Department, Peter Ganci, Jr.
In September 2006, with the help of New Jersey-based, audiovisual design and integration firm, McCann Systems, FDNY completed the state-of-the-art Fire Department Operations Center (FDOC) at its Brooklyn headquarters comprising three areas: Emergency Operations Center (EOC), used to supervise thousands of daily responses; an Incident Support Center (ISC), used to manage large-scale disasters; and two Command Center conference rooms. This allowed senior fire commanders the ability to manage multiple, large-scale incidents from a single, central remote location as well as increase interoperability with other NYC agencies such as police, emergency management, and transportation.
VIDEO-DRIVEN ANALYSIS DRIVES CHANGE
Since the first installation at the FDOC in 2006, easier access to live video streams, and increased video processing power had become available. In 2013, a technology refresh was done to enable the department to more quickly analyze multiple, live video streams at one time. Concurrently, a smaller backup center referred to as the Second Site was built on Staten Island. McCann Systems was brought on board to design and integrate both facilities.
Read more about how the FDNY and McCann Systems worked to update the Network Operations Center in the May issue of AV Technology Magazine. Download the story here.